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Mindfulness disrupts...

...the default narrative mode of attention
...the blindness of familiarity
...the behaviors that run on autopilot
...the perpetual wait for circumstances to improve

Disruption is the theme of this year's TEDxColumbus on November 20. I’m excited to announce that I’ll be contributing to the conversation.

To me, mindfulness is as ordinary, natural, and important as physical exercise. I think this idea is catching on. But mindfulness is more than relaxation and breath awareness. It's attentional fitness training. It refers to exercises that have been scientifically proven to change the structure and function of the brain in ways that enhance concentration, self-awareness, and emotional regulation.

I plan to describe how focusing on relaxation sets the stage for disrupting the way we experience discomfort. 
Here are some of the other things that have been grabbing my attention lately. 


Michael Taft is a colleague who shares my enthusiasm for Shinzen Young’s Basic Mindfulness. His new book, The Mindful Geek, helps address the need for dogma-free meditation instruction. If you’ve taken one of my classes, you’ll recognize the lingo. You’ll also feel inspired to customize your practice to fit your own unique interests and needs without any pressure to adopt a set of beliefs.

Thomas Sterner is a jazz pianist, private pilot, and golf enthusiast who has studied archery, philosophy, and sports psychology. He writes about the challenges of acquiring any new skill in The Practicing Mind (library). It's a slim, wise book that will appeal to anyone who is fascinated by the learning process. 

Did you read Sherry Turkle's most-emailed essay, "Stop Googling. Let’s Talk." in the New York Times last Sunday? 

She writes, "Doing one thing at a time is hard, because it means asserting ourselves over what technology makes easy and what feels productive in the short term. Multitasking comes with its own high, but when we chase after this feeling, we pursue an illusion. Conversation is a human way to practice unitasking."

The essay is an excerpt from her new book, Reclaiming Conversation (library) which comes out tomorrow. 


I couldn't take my ears off Mary Karr talking about her book, The Art of Memoir (library) with Terry Gross so I immediately downloaded the Audible version and I don't want it to end. It's not directly about mindfulness, but it is about turning your attention toward your own story in fresh, honest, and fearless ways. Hearing her read the book is a luxury. She makes me want to be more bold and tell it like I see it.  

I also can't get enough of Sleeping at Last (SoundCloud). Lucky, Ryan O'Neal, the person behind the name is prolific. Check out the poetic samples I couldn't help sharing on my blog.

Have you discovered The One You Feed podcast yet? It explores the parable of the two wolves by talking to people who are trying to nurture the best parts of themselves. Recent attentional-fitness-friendly standouts include: Kevin Breel (feel your feelings), Sharon Salzberg (friendliness resistance), Rabbi Rami Shapiro (finding common ground), and Scott Gornto (default narrative mode of attention).


  • Worth Repeating
    What makes it so difficult for us to pay attention at any given moment? It seems like it should be easy.
  • So Simple We Don't Want to Believe It
    Trudy Goodman on the trouble with explaining mindfulness. 
  • Feel Your Feelings for a Few Seconds
    Using a mindfulness exercise to pay attention to your feelings differently doesn’t replace other possible responses. 
  • The Taste of Embarrassment
    One of the things I’ve found so remarkable about attentional fitness training is the way it has gradually, yet significantly, changed the way I relate to the physicality of my emotions—including the unpleasant ones.


Check out my class listings for details on these and other events: 

  • Weekly mindfulness practice session on Wednesday evenings in the Amelita Mirolo Barn
  • "Leadership and the Art of Mindful Listening," early Thursday morning, Oct. 8, part of the Hall Leadership Lessons at Franklin University
  • Strengthen Concentration with Mindful Walking, in Sharon Woods on Saturday, Oct. 10
  • Feel Your Feelings with Mindfulness, Oct. 15 and 22, Mount Carmel St. Ann's
  • Saturday Morning Retreat, Oct. 24 
Take care, 

Thanks for helping me spread the word about the classes I offer related to attention-specific challenges in the workplace
Copyright © 2015 Attentional Fitness Training, All rights reserved.

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